I think I’ve found the perfect project for you. Yes, ALL OF YOU. It’s a bit presumptuous of me to assume I know the next best project for you, don’t you think? Let me back up a bit!
Did you know that I’ve been working on the Better Than Basic Pullover (from Churchmouse Yarns and Tea) for the past few weeks? I’ve been making a sample in the shop using Katia’s Cotton Merino because I am convinced that this should be THE yarn we encourage for your next sweater. Keywords here are “Better-than-basic-pullover”, Churchmouse and Katia-Cotton-Tweed.
I love Churchmouse patterns. They’re incredibly accessible – meaning they’re not riddled with odd techniques or clever/convoluted construction. They are very straightforward, user-friendly and written so that you are successful with your project! They also say nice things like “if you prefer a different method for your short rows, please go ahead and use it.” They’re not the knitting police, they just want you to enjoy making your lovely sweater, and they want it to be all your own. Plus, Churchmouse Yarns and Tea is a LYS that is committed to helping other LYSs, making these awesome patterns widely available. I just-plain-love Churchmouse.
I’ve had my eye on the Better than Basic Pullover for years. It’s written with lots of options, in terms of length and it gives styling options for the neckline and trims. There are great tips on modifying the sweater suit you. I made the tunic length version for the shop, as there is something so satisfying about throwing on a cozy sweater over some leggings and just going with it. However, I will mention I tried on this sweater over a miniskirt today and it was super cute! Yep, it’s versatile. Plus, this whole funnel-neck look is everywhere this year. Whether worn with a lot of ease or negative ease, long or cropped, this neckline is ubiquitous. Not only is it a well-written pattern but it’s definitely on trend.
You’re probably getting sick of me talking about how awesome Katia’s Cotton Merino yarn is, but it is really REALLY awesome. It’s a bit of an understatement to say that it’s soft and cozy but it really is sooo soft. I kind of want to take it to bed and snuggle with it. I won’t because that would be weird, right? I have a sweater made of this yarn from 2 years ago and it has held up beautifully. Yes, there is a bit of shedding in those high friction areas (under the arms, etc) but it’s easily addressed with my favorite ConAir Defuzzer, and the sweater looks as good as new. It’s so soft I would even challenge those with wool sensitivities to snuggle up with this yarn and give it a try.
I made the XS size, and with a bust measurement of 42 inches it has a lot of ease, but it isn’t the least bit overwhelming. The sleeves on this sweater are trim and at a length that stops right at your wrist. The result is a luxurious fit that is still feminine, and it happens to show off that tiny part on all women: our wrists.
When I say that I’ve figured out what your next project should be, it’s also my next project. I bought a sweater’s quantity of Tennen, (a Noro yarn I love, and apparently I’m one of few people who love it so much and on sale at Wool & Grace!!!) to make my own version. I made the shop’s sample with 3×2 ribbing along the sleeves, hem and neck, and I plan to do so with my own. I love the striking lines that go along with that deep, dramatic ribbing. However, I’m going make mine hip length, keeping the 3+” of ribbing on the body and sleeves. I’ll probably still make the extra small, but Tennen is easier to manipulate in blocking, so I’ll probably stretch it a bit beyond the intended measurements and make it a bit roomier. I’m also going to make the sleeves roomier, so instead of tapering the sleeve, I’m going to begin with the number that you end with and keep it static throughout.
This is a wonderful sweater project for a seasoned sweater knitter or a novice. I hope everyone gives this sweater a good look this season. Written for a worsted weight yarn, there are tons of amazing choices out there besides Katia’s Cotton Merino. Given that it’s knit in pieces and seamed together, any fibers will hold up to this construction. Make yourself a super soft version in something with alpaca like Juniper Moon’s Herriot or Moonshine! Shepherd’s Wool and Falkland Aran are straightforward wools and incredibly soft yarns. Try a dreamy Shibui combination like Birch+Pebble. Kenzie will bloom beautifully giving this sweater subtle character. Shelter will knit into your luxurious workhorse sweater. There are no bad choices here – just ones that will make it all your own.